In a ski industry saturated with competing brands and fluctuating interest, owner of Revelstoke’s Trapper Snowboards believes the splitboard industry is the area of growth.
There’s a hub of splitboarders in Revelstoke and the huge backcountry playground of Rogers Pass feeds their urge to explore the backcountry. In recent years splitboarding gear has seen technological advances and while expensive, it’s lighter and easier to use. “The binding and boot interface is changing,” Fortier says.
Trapper Snowboards is the title sponsor of the upcoming Canuck Splitfest, now in its seventh year. The Jan. 13–15 splitboarding event is based in Revelstoke, with evening events at the Revelstoke Community Centre, and daytime riding in Rogers Pass.
It was a home splitboard project that started the idea for the company and answered a demand in the market. When they began in 2011, Fortier says there were less than a dozen companies making splitboards globally. Now most snowboard manufacturers have a splitboard in their line-up.
Trapper sells their boards direct to keep prices down and their reputation locally and internationally has grown. They make as many as 150 snowboards and splitboards a year and have sent them as far as Australia, Singapore, Japan and the Netherlands.
Today, they’re all about efficiency. The learning curve of business saw them previously overloaded and juggling a number of specific orders. They’re now focusing on building boards in batches to grow stock. With about 35 models, there’s a lot of variety to suit every body shape and size.
What’s new with Trapper in 2017?
- The Pow Surfer splitboard uses no-boarding technology from Revelstoke’s Almond Manufacturing by Nikolai Samson. “It brings a new element of challenge for snowboarding,” Fortier says. “It’s a dynamic, fluid feeling — it’s a lot like surfing.”
- The company has also gotten their hands on what Fortier says is the holy grail of carbon fibre, which they will use on some of their boards. They will have a late 2017 season release.
- And with Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s first Banked Slalom late this month, the company will release a Banked Slalom board — a fun all-mountain carving board.